b

bob96's Profile

Title Last Reply

Alton Brown....

double ditto

about 16 hours ago
bob96 in Food Media & News

Why Does New York Have The Best Bagels? Not the Water, the 2-Day Proofing.

Also a tradition of hand working and a consumer memory, however faint, of what traditional 8-to-the-pound bagels tasted like: dense, not sweet, strong.

about 16 hours ago
bob96 in Food Media & News

Seeking tiny producer olive oil and/or cheese that's worth traveling for just to bring home a bottle or wheel

That leaves pretty much only Tuscany for the oil/cheese combo---Pisa is a 3hr drive from Milan. Others on this board surely have recommendations for a small frantoio; and a lot of pecorino, which is what I'd go for in Tuscany, is not exported at all. You might not find them in the same place, tho. Happy trails.

about 17 hours ago
bob96 in Italy

Anyone else hate the new Saveur makeover, or is it just me?

Was a lover of Saveur from issue one--and regularly revisited issues (fondly remember the gloriously evocative take on San Francisco North Beach's "old stoves" Italian cooks, and many others). Always something to learn from and treasure. Now, like them all, it's celebrities, lists, blips, and boxes and the insufferably hectoring and empty "what we're [eating, drinking now" meme.

Bakery for Tuscan Bread for Panzanella

Just a testimony to the disappearance of Italian bakeries in Manhattan--though good pane di casa is still there to be found.

May 01, 2015
bob96 in Manhattan

Bakery for Tuscan Bread for Panzanella

Might try Parisi Bakery, 290 Elizabeth St. Or Agata and Valentina on University Place.

May 01, 2015
bob96 in Manhattan

Wine pairing herby pork?

The coriander and mint touch traditional Portuguese flavor notes--in that, I'd suggest a Portuguese red--from Douro or Alentejo for warm fruit, moderate tannin and alcohol, and just enough acid.

May 01, 2015
bob96 in Wine

ISO Agropoli and nearby town food recs

Nonna Sceppa in nearby Capaccio.https://www.facebook.com/nonnasceppa?...

Apr 14, 2015
bob96 in Italy

Is riccota insalata ideal for cannolis?

No. It's "ricotta salata", btw, and made for table cheese or in its very dried form, grating. You might as some have suggested want to add a little fresh goat cheese to add flavor to the usually bland commercial ricotta--which should be drained in any case.

Apr 14, 2015
bob96 in Home Cooking
1

Spreadable Sausage

'Nduja in Calabria is meant to be very spicy and hot; it's also not made with prosciutto or speck, but with fresh pork, and cured. It's used there as a condiment, in relatively small portions.

Apr 14, 2015
bob96 in General Topics

food tv show called the kitchen?

Forced, fake, unwatchable.

Apr 14, 2015
bob96 in Food Media & News

Anything good near Hotel Wales on UES?

There's an El Paso (recommended) closer on 97th between Park and Madison. Also, Luzzo's pizza on 96th between Park and Lex is great for thin crust "Neapolitan" slices--fresh and light. Paola's is a dud; Pascalou and Le Paris across Madison are pleasant old-line bistros with nice prix-fixes.

Apr 06, 2015
bob96 in Manhattan

Anything good near Hotel Wales on UES?

There's an El Paso (recommended) closer on 97th between Park and Madison. Also, Luzzo's pizza on 96th between Park and Lex is great for thin crust "Neapolitan" slices--fresh and light. Paola's is a dud; Pascalou and Le Paris across Madison are pleasant old-line bistros with nice prix-fixes. Not to forget Papaya King for franks and only in NY fruit drinks on 86th and Third.

Apr 06, 2015
bob96 in Manhattan

Dinner with a side of self-righteousness

Well said, and completely agree.

Mar 31, 2015
bob96 in Food Media & News

Dinner with a side of self-righteousness

Bittman has been moved into a position of significant authority and visibility at the Times, so he ends up as an oracle, for better or worse. What's wrong with calling out Pollan, Waters and whomever for not acknowledging their own positions of privilege--or for dealing with the economic, class, and cultural dimensions of the food ways they stand for. Especially when they are proposing life changes that so many people simply cannot make, however sensible or desirable. Their having privilege is not the issue--we all play on levels of privilege; it's that they pretend to speak for and to a society at large they seem not to understand. There are food writers (like John Thorne, for one) who go deeply and revealingly into the mysterious and joys of food who still manage to conveyor a sense of themselves situated in a specific world that might not be ours. Pollan and Waters write as if we are all Berkeley professionals. Or should be. Both would be more effective if they'd reflect even for a little on the limits of (and alternatives to) privilege. I agree about championing other voices: but Pollan and Bittman and Barber and others like them so dominate the popular discourse that they sometimes seem to define it all.

Mar 31, 2015
bob96 in Food Media & News
1

Dinner with a side of self-righteousness

It's not about "elite", since by definition those who find a way to write regularly about food (or foreign places) are by definition in a small, if changing, and frankly privileged minority. Bless 'em. But all critics offer opinions that are, or should be, subject to dispute. One blind spot in this group is an almost complete lack of self-awareness about their position, about the realities of changing a life, and perhaps most of all of limits the real world places on everyone. It's hilarious, for example, that one as well-traveled as Bittman should be so gobsmacked by the abundance of gorgeous produce in the Bay Area it's always been there, thanks to the work across generations of local Asian, Armenian, Latino, Italian, and other truck farmers and producers, and sources like the Berkeley Bowl's historic counterpart Monterey Market, started by a Japanese-American family many years ago. No big deal. Or when Waters or Pollan wonder why all folks just can't find a way to spend just a bit more money on better food, when it's so often not even about the raw materials: many, even if they were given heirloom products for free, don't even have the time or physical resources to do this kind of scratch cooking at home, even if many would love to, struggling with multiple jobs, kids underfoot, family obligations. Not everyone can stroll the Berkeley Hills at mid-day, foraging. You can applaud the general good that people like Pollan and Bittman have done--and they're certainly not alone-- but the difference between can and should is really more than a minor normative whistle. They can also sound like the hectoring consumerists of yore, for whom there's always a better (more distinctive, valuable, authentic, expensive) version of just about everything anyone else is buying, wearing, eating, drinking, or driving. The categories pif value change; the need to use them in defining mine vs yours, or ours vs theirs, does not, alas. Realize it or not, the Bittmans, Pollans, and others in this choir loft are singing not just of simple natural graces--but about a kind of moral and even religious conversion. Lots of us--who, by the way, should bear no responsibility to be food writers just in order to be able to criticize one--can see the distinction. We'll take their good news as we find it, but I for one always leave before the homily.

How can I slice crusty bread without making such a mess?

Get a good serrated knife; it works wonders.

Mar 27, 2015
bob96 in General Topics

Anyone else hate the new Saveur makeover, or is it just me?

They used to have writers and journalists opening new worlds of food to us all. Now they have stylists.

Mar 27, 2015
bob96 in Food Media & News
1

Italian Table Wine

Well here goes something; Without any pricing guidelines,. I'll circler around the $10-15 range, and some of these should hit. Librandi Ciro Rosso, Illuminati/Masciarelli/Valle Reale/Zaccagnini Montepulciano d'Abruzzo, Michele Chiarlo Barbera, Cusumano Nero d'Avola, Melini Chianti Borgo d'Elsa, Masi Vapolicella, Mezzacorona Pino Nerot, Umani Ronchi Rosso Conero, Tormaresca Neprica, Cantele Negroamaro. Ecc.

Mar 19, 2015
bob96 in Wine

St. Joseph's sfinci

Love sfingi--very good at the very Sicilian Villabate Pastry Shop in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, especially. The fluted pastry filled with pastry cream at top here is actually a zeppola (zeppole, plural) di San Giuseppe. It shell is often baked, not fried, and not a yeast dough, and is not like the zeppole sold in pizzerie.

Mar 19, 2015
bob96 in Manhattan

Bon Appetite says Sirarcha's "Totally Over." Agree?

Media like BA need to think they make...and un-make. When what they mostly do is follow.

Why not? ... Stuffed peppers

I cleave to my grandmother's Calabrese stuffing--breadcrumbs, black olives, anchovies, garlic, capers, parsley, olive oil. Maybe a crushed tomato on top.

Mar 04, 2015
bob96 in Home Cooking
1

Balaboosta: Some Good but Very Lacking

Sounds like the p[ublisher did a disservice to the book--almost every "adventurous" cookbook has those features you missed. Shame. Interesting that the title of the book (and the author's restaurant) is a classic Yiddish term, one that a Mizrahi (Eastern) Jewish person would not haver roots in. It's also key to note that the author is of Yemeni-Persian Jewish background, in a subset of generic "MIddle Eastern" foodways. We've come to expect that omnibus palate of olives, hummus, etc., but Armenians and Lebanese and Turks (to say nothing of Christians, Jews, and Muslims in this broad, big region) do eat differently. Tabbouleh is not Yemeni or even Turkish, but Lebanese; and while Greeks and Italians, to draw an analogy,are generally "Mediterranean" they have more differences than similarities in their traditional food cultures.

Mar 02, 2015
bob96 in Home Cooking

Rioja sales reach new high in 2014 -- but dropped in the U.S.?

Actually, there were tons of Riojas, including some at high price points and distinctive styles, like those older whites from Ygay and Murrieta on NY shop shelves, before there were hardly any of those spiffily-labelled mass market garnachas. In fact, I early saw much beyond Rioja. hope the presence of value wines can lead to a strong base for other Spanish wines; it'd be interesting to see who or how many may have moved from, say, Cavit to Jermann… by starting with Cavit.

Feb 19, 2015
bob96 in Wine

Rioja sales reach new high in 2014 -- but dropped in the U.S.?

Just based on visual evidence and on some changes in my everyday wine buying patterns, there's a growing value-price Spanish wine presence, from a range of areas (Castilla, Toro, Valencia, etc), featuring garnacha+tempranillo+other varieties blends. Some of it;'s very nice and competes more than effectively against similar California styles/prices, and in some ways more attractively than some warhorse Italians in these categories. Not sure what the trends are for higher end Priorat or Ribera del Duero, though; they don't seem to be moving out very widely. There is some wonderfully characteristic rioja (Muga, for one) that are superb values.

Feb 19, 2015
bob96 in Wine

Bucatini Pasta

Most every brand makes it--including La Molisana, Del Verde, Garofalo, Setaro. As Maureen noted, it may still be called perciatelli, which it was more frequently when I was growing up.

Feb 19, 2015
bob96 in General Topics

Sid’ Prospective List For Rome

See what you mean. When handled well, as in a good Chinon, it works. Otherwise.

Feb 12, 2015
bob96 in Italy

Sid’ Prospective List For Rome

Cantine Grotta del Sole makes a nice piedirosso from Campi Flegrei. A Casa, La Rivolta, and Guardiense make attractive versions, too. It's an oddly endearing variety--I like it in the same way I like Loire reds. It has a distinctive profile, with perhaps more than a touch of green stalk.

Feb 12, 2015
bob96 in Italy
1

Is Costco Making Us Fat?

The data are broad ecological correlations, and the study seems not to distinguish Walmart and other big box grocers from Costco and the membership stores. There are 3400 Walmart supercenters in the US, compared to 420 Costco stores. Walmart sells more than 50% of all US retail groceries, and carries 12x more total products than Costco. Supermarkets average 25x more products than Costco. Walmart sales overall have slumped, and Costco's grown, thanks in part to serious stocking and staffing issues at Walmart that have driven customers away. My point is that the study lumps together two different enough shopping environments, and pushes they boundaries of comparability. Is price always everything? I don't think so, especially when the limited (and changing/seasonal) offerings at Costco, the lack of impulse-level volume units, and a $55/yr membership can be argued to have perhaps different effects on obesity-producing shopping patterns. On a micro behavioral level, Costco's "dangerous" products simply cannot compare in number or selection to those in the middle aisles of supermarkets and general big box retailers--all those bags of chips, candies, sodas, and frozen chicken poppers and cheese wiz that millions buy every day.

Dessert when main course is waffles?

Bartlett pears poached in wine, maybe a moscato. Good cheese and apples. A fennel and orange salad.

Feb 11, 2015
bob96 in Home Cooking